iPad to replace programming laptop?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by evilmurries, May 8, 2019.

  1. evilmurries macrumors newbie

    evilmurries

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2019
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #1
    Hello,

    Right off the bat, I am not as literate with iOS as I am with windows / macOS so I apologize if this question is dated. My only current iPad use case is web browsing. My question is this. Have the iPad and iOS apps become sophisticated enough to replace the need for a programming laptop? I have a brand spanking new iMac sitting at home for all my compiling needs. As a computer science student and hopefully future programmer, is it possible to develop a good workflow now so I only need one tablet and one desktop pc? I'd love to not have to keep an extra laptop around for on the go occasions. Thank you.
     
  2. akash.nu macrumors 604

    akash.nu

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    #3
    You can keep the pc running and use jump desktop or any other Remote Desktop apps to login to your PC / iMac to code if needed. I do this from time to time.
     
  3. rrayborn38 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    #4
    Not even close - don’t try or you will get very frustrated. There is no substitute yet for a MacBook Pro for software development work.
     
  4. throAU, May 9, 2019
    Last edited: May 9, 2019

    throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #5
    Depends on what you are programming.

    If you have a unix shell account like i did back in the day when i was at university, the ipad can run an ssh client just as well as anything else.

    If you're doing web programming on say, Amazon via a browser, the ipad should do that just fine.

    But if you're needing to run say, a native C compiler then no. Well, not without caveats. You can edit text files just fine but you'd need to sync them to your computer somehow and its a pain in the butt. If you're going to need to run an IDE like visual studio, xcode, etc. then no... it won't work out.
    --- Post Merged, May 9, 2019 ---
    Depends as above. If you have a computer you can SSH or RDP back to (or you're working in a cloud environment), then the ipad is a lot ligher, smaller, better battery life, etc.

    But there are some pretty big caveats. I'm a network professional and do scripting, etc. from my ipad quite a bit when i'm not at my desk. I also use my macbook pro a fair bit as well. Depends how much portability is worth to you, what trade-offs you are willing to make and what you are programming.

    Given you ALREADY HAVE the iPad and PC, my suggestion would be to get an RDP or VNC client for the ipad, set up RealVNC on your PC/Mac and see how you go with it. Buy the laptop when you need it. But don't do so until you need it.

    You may likely find that when you're "on the go" you're unlikely to do a heap of programming anyway. Programming and distractions (from being on the go) aren't a great mix.

    Where the iPad IS good and a laptop is not, is for sketching out ideas, flow diagrams, etc. And that's the sort of thing you're likely to do more of "on the go" IMHO anyway.
     
  5. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816

    AutomaticApple

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  6. MrRabuf, May 9, 2019
    Last edited: May 9, 2019

    MrRabuf macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2019
    #7
    I've tried this and iOS is just not there yet. The best you're going to get is using an iPad to remotely log into a real computer to do your programming. This can actually work fairly well if you're a command-line only type of person and are ok doing all your work via an SSH session (and thus are ok using editors like vim/emacs/etc) but it gets awkward if you need to use IDEs, do web development and thus need to have access to browser development tools, etc. I've successfully done all this with an iPad Pro (and another time with just an iPhone which was hell) while on vacation but it was a work emergency and not something I'd want to do often. Having mouse support would make this a lot easier but even still I wouldn't want to rely on having to do everything remotely like this.

    There are certain use cases where an iPad can replace a laptop, however, software development is not one of those yet. I really hope that day comes but we're just not there yet. Get a real laptop.
     
  7. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #8
    You can get Git and FTP clients for iOS to view / edit source files, or SSH or VNC to connect to a remote server. But that's about the extent of it. The iPad hardware would be capable of more but iOS with its forced sandboxing is still too limiting. No Xcode, no command line, no filesystem access, no process viewer, and no ability to build / run your code. Even fundamental things like overlapping floating windows don't exist yet on iOS 12.

    I can see an iPad replacing a laptop for sketch artists or writers, but not for developers. No iPad is going to replace my 2012 Retina MacBook Pro, at least not anytime soon.
     
  8. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

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    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #9
    Nope. Not much to say here
     
  9. StralyanPithecus macrumors regular

    StralyanPithecus

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    Sep 27, 2018
    Location:
    Toasty South Texas, I miss my kangaroos.
    #10
    No, only python can be done on the iPad, and only small programs (using pythonisa and Carnets for jupyter notebooks). c++ absolutely not, there is nothing on the store usable. I tried to use my iPad as a programming tool, but it didn’t work at all. Still there’s a lot of things you cannot do with the iPad.
     
  10. evilmurries thread starter macrumors newbie

    evilmurries

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    Mar 29, 2019
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #11
    That's too bad. I really would have liked to consolidate two devices into one. Most of my projects are in java / swift / python so I was hoping there would be a great way to text edit, and then send to my desktop. I've been listening to a podcast (connected) with tech industry people that seemingly managed to replace their computers with iPads, but I guess their use cases are more content creation.

    This begs the follow up question then of what do people use the iPad Pro for? What needs are fulfilled by a top of the line iPad?
     
  11. StralyanPithecus macrumors regular

    StralyanPithecus

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
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    Toasty South Texas, I miss my kangaroos.
    #12
    Mostly media consumption and some drawing and note taking. Until Apple decides to expand the iPad capabilities, it is still not an all in one computing device.
     
  12. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

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    Mannheim, Germany
    #13
    For me the iPad is a luxury item and I use it for casual browsing and emailing when relaxing on the couch. I don't use it for work, because I have something better for the job, namely a MacBook Pro which I also connect to a 27" 4k LG display. I am not saying that I cannot do any work on my iPad, but most of the times I just prefer the Mac.
     
  13. MisterSavage macrumors 6502a

    MisterSavage

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    Nov 10, 2018
    #14
    Exact same for me except I use an iMac.
     
  14. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

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    Glasgow
    #15
    If you want to jump through hoops and can spend hours for a workaround to prove you can do X on iPad, by all means go for it. Otherwise, stick to Windows or Mac.
     
  15. MrRabuf, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 10, 2019

    MrRabuf macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2019
    #16
    I use my iPad Pro to do many of the same things people do on regular iPads. Reading/browsing/email/youtube/movies/etc. I also occasionally use it as a guitar amp and effects unit. Why do I need the Pro version over the regular? I don't. I also don't need an iPad at all. It's a luxury item and I simply wanted it because I prefer to do those kinds of things on a tablet rather than on a phone/laptop/desktop/etc. I chose the Pro version because I like it's display and Apple's Smart Keyboard (again, things I simply wanted and don't need).

    I can get away with it being a laptop replacement when I'm traveling for personal reasons but that's about it. If I have to actually work, then a real computer is the right tool for my job.
     
  16. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #17
    I was traveling with my iPad only and had to do some scientific computations. Wrote them on my iPad pro in Python. Python runs fast on my iPad pro than on my 15" 2017 MBP, so no problem. I think that gives the pro in iPad pro.
     
  17. frou macrumors 6502

    frou

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #18
    The frustrating thing is that iOS is a full-blown Unix OS under the covers. It's just a matter of policy that Apple do not expose that by shipping an official Terminal.app that would initiate terminal sessions into iOS itself (as opposed to e.g. the Prompt 2 or Blink apps where you initiate sessions into remote (typically Linux) servers)
     
  18. ALW1026 macrumors member

    ALW1026

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    Jul 14, 2016
    #19
    Can you send info on how to set Python up on my iPad
    --- Post Merged, May 18, 2019 ---
     
  19. Ghost31 macrumors 68020

    Ghost31

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #20
    I’ve tried this very same experiment for the last 3 years and in the end, it was all a big waste of time. If only I would have listened to the people telling me I was crazy for even attempting it lol

    No. Programming now or even In the next few years will just not be a good experience on iPad. Not even if some new app came out. Not even if apple got a little less restrictive on sand boxing. Just no. Save yourself the trouble. Use a laptop
     
  20. richpjr macrumors 68040

    richpjr

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    May 9, 2006
    #21
    LOL - wise words!
     
  21. macfacts macrumors 68040

    macfacts

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    Location:
    Cybertron
    #22
    Apple won't allow you to do programming on the iPad, that would cannibalize mac sales.

    If you have a rooted Android device, it is possible to install a complete Linux distro and do programming, look up the terms chroot android.
     
  22. Ghost31 macrumors 68020

    Ghost31

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #23
    Apple is just fine with cannibalizing themselves. Just look at what the iPhone did to the iPod.

    No this is about what they feel is right for the device and as much as we like to feel “oh an iPad is a computer just like my laptop. If only apple made it a little better!” Apple seems the experiences being completely different. Hence the reason for marzipan and how they nevertheless added touch screens for Mac.

    I hate to say never because talking in absolutes can get you in trouble, but dare I say iPad as we know it will never compete with a laptop as far as programming goes. Ever. Apple just won’t make it that way. It’s not a matter of time or iteration or needing to evolve. It’s just their vision for the experience of each device
     
  23. ofarlig macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Sweden
    #24
    Theres really no problem in remoting to your iMac when you aren’t sitting at it to do programing. It isn’t ideal but I would rather do that instead of having to bring multiple portable units.
     
  24. Koh Phi Phi macrumors regular

    Koh Phi Phi

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    #25
    Many of us, professionals in many different fields, would love that. But iOS is simply not there yet :(
     

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28 May 8, 2019